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Author Topic: NGD; J-70, maple back, Mermaid inlay. Tell me about this rare Larrivee.  (Read 55764 times)
B0WIE
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« on: August 08, 2014, 03:23:22 AM »

I've been longing for a Larrivee Jumbo since playing one a year ago and was very fortunate to come across this one online; http://www.tejonstreetmusic.com/p/used-larrivee-j-70/
Please help me learn about this seemingly rare instrument.  Note; the tag doesn't say J70, that's what the shop called it.  I know the Larr Jumbos are hard to come by, and that the 70 series is even more scarce (I've only seen 2 mentions of J-70s online) but a maple one might even be a one-off (?).  The most informative thing I found so far was in the Vintage Guitar Price guide, which says;
"J-70, Jumbo, Sitka spruce top, solid indian rosewood back and sides, presentation grade fancy appointments, limited production. 1994"  And lists a used value of $2k on the high side.
Beyond that, I really don't know much about the 70 line.  I've seen it referred to as the "Deluxe" series but I also know that the 7_ series is sometimes the presentation series.  Do the other J-70s all have Mermaids?  I can't even find a pic of another one.

  As far as my thoughts on this particular instrument go, this definitely has a J-200 thing going on.  Bright, resonant, HUGE, and in your face.  It's a little mid-scooped with deep bass and extended highs.  The volume/tone has much better consistency across the board than any of my other guitars.  And, none of my acoustics play this well above the 7th fret.  It's hard to get a full grasp yet because they shipped it w/ new 80/20 strings, which are usually obnoxious for the first day.  Regardless, this guitar fills a hole in my collection.  I tune down a whole step and play fingerstyle so the crisp top end and tight bass sounds like it will be perfect for keeping my sound from getting dark and murky on recordings.  Really surprising how harmonically rich and resonant this is for having maple back and sides.  It's not percussive and dry like you usually hear in maple.  Must be the top, which is super lively and I can feel it vibrating aggressively under my arm.  



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D-02-12
Used to own and love; SD-50, J70 maple Mermaid, SD60sbt, D03R, LV03E.
bobw
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 03:45:50 AM »

 +1    nice guitar     +1

Bowie....  I think you got yourself an unbelievable guitar...  I have 2 maple guitars...  but would trade them both for yours...  wish I had more to tell you about your "treasure" ...  I'm jealous... 

Hope you get to enjoy her for a long, long time... BobW... 
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2014, 04:22:00 AM »

+1    nice guitar     +1

Bowie....  I think you got yourself an unbelievable guitar...  I have 2 maple guitars...  but would trade them both for yours...  wish I had more to tell you about your "treasure" ...  I'm jealous... 

Hope you get to enjoy her for a long, long time... BobW... 
Many thanks, Bob!  I try to pick instruments that I'll cherish and keep and I think this gal has found her home.  Besides looks, the intonation and tonal consistency is far beyond my expectations.  Nobody makes anything like this for under $3k.  I paid under $1,200 shipped, which feels like an absolute steal.  I was expecting it to be in terrible shape but it's far better than described. Larrivee continually blows my mind and is the only guitar maker I'm brand-loyal to. 
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2014, 04:39:48 AM »

that is a lovely thing at a crazy low  :nice guitar:price.
congrats!
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2014, 06:28:04 AM »

Congratulations.  It's a looker for sure.  I haven't played any jumbos but by your description of it's sound and playability, I would sure like to try one.  An incredible value given the flamed maple and gorgeous inlays.  Hope you will cherish and enjoy it for a long time.
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 11:48:23 AM »

Not to hijack your thread, but an added comment about the ooomph of Jumbos.  I'd been looking at a Taylor LKSM-6 (Leo Kottke Signature Model 6-string, mahogany/sitka) in a shop here for over a year and finally pulled the trigger.  It possesses many of the same qualities you describe and continues to amaze.  I put D'Adarrio EJ-19's (bluegrass) on it and they are working well.  You've got a beauty there - "a bargain at twice the price!"

Chas
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Walkerman
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 01:23:46 PM »

Looks like it has aged nicely ...  How old is it?

For some reason, I am humming zappa's "I like boobs a lot" now.....
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 01:37:42 PM »

That's a beauty! 
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2014, 05:55:12 PM »

Has there been a J nominated for GOTM?

Stunning guitar. congrats!  nice guitar
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2014, 10:39:17 PM »

I believe the "70" designation is because it has an enlarged soundhole - there were a couple Larrivee guitar series that had these during that time. Yours is missing the inside ring of inlays usually seen with that rosette (compare with my '92 OM below).

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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2014, 12:06:22 AM »

 nice guitar 
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2014, 01:05:13 AM »

The 70 series - Large sound hole "19" style briefly made during very late 80's. Usually had a horse's head or an eagles head.

My guess is yours would be an extremely rare bird and could have been a one-of with the Maple B&S and luvly mermaid headstock

What is the serial # that may give us more clues as well 
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2014, 08:51:08 AM »

Thank you all so much for the kind words!  I was feeling very guilty for buying another guitar but you have re-affirmed that this is a special piece and I didn't spend wastefully.  Now that the strings have settled-in, WOW.  I feel almost undeserving at how amazing this gal sounds and plays.  The mermaid inlay is appropriate as the subtle, swirling quality to the rich resonance and sustain conjures up a haunting, ocean-like image.  This guitar will be a big part of my future, musically.  
I haven't played any jumbos but by your description of it's sound and playability, I would sure like to try one.
Not to hijack your thread, but an added comment about the ooomph of Jumbos.  I'd been looking at a Taylor LKSM-6 (Leo Kottke Signature Model 6-string, mahogany/sitka) in a shop here for over a year and finally pulled the trigger.  It possesses many of the same qualities you describe and continues to amaze.
Chas
Jumbos are a funny thing.  Having recorded many of them, I know they can be a muddy nightmare.  But, the right jumbo, played correctly, truly trumps all in terms of tone.  I'd definitely recommend Larrivee J's because both examples I've played sound huge without boominess or boxiness.  And, they have the same chimey sparkle in the top end that people love in Gibsons, but w/ just a little less twang.  The rosewood J-09 I played sounded very similar to my J-70 but more laid, back, without quite the same sense of immediacy and presence. Which brings me to an interesting point; the large sound-hone.  Large sound-hole owners; do you find that your guitars are particularly sensitive to the position of your right hand?  With this guitar, there is a HUGE variance in tone depending where my right hand is, way more than anything else I've played.  Being that this is my first large-soundhole experience, I'm wondering if it's the sound-hole.  Also, I notice that the large hole seems to take out a little of the low-end fatness ("boom") one would expect and makes the sound, what I would call, more "revealing".  Everything is clearly audible and balanced, no matter how light my fingerstyle gets.  Like listening to recorded music that's already been processed.  Does anyone else get that impression from their guitars w/ large sound-holes?

Looks like it has aged nicely ...  How old is it?
For some reason, I am humming zappa's "I like boobs a lot" now.....
The shop claims it's a 95'.  I know the J-70 was made in 94, so 95' is feasible.  However, the clear coat has yellowed just a little (I can tell when I look at the small chips) so I'm wondering if that indicates that this is the urethane they were using in 94' or if it could be the polyester they switched to in 95'.  Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Has there been a J nominated for GPTM?
Oh, if that's a possibility then I'll have to take some nicer pics!  :)

My guess is yours would be an extremely rare bird and could have been a one-of with the Maple B&S and luvly mermaid headstock
What is the serial # that may give us more clues as well  
Here's the problem; someone installed an LR Baggs and velcro'd it right to the heel angry.  I'll likely never use it since I only use mics when recording.  Thinking of pulling the pickup since it's blocking the serial and the vol wheel at the edge of the soundhole is fugly.  Does anyone know if I should leave the actual pickup glued in place (lest I damage the wood under the bridge) and just pull the rest of the electronics?

Also, I don't benefit from the pick-guard and would love it gone.  Is it risky to lift them off of a 20 year old guitar?  Since it's clear, the color is nicely matched underneath.  I've never taken one off a Larrivee so I don't know if they usually come off cleanly.
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2014, 10:49:24 AM »

Hmmmm, some interesting questions you've posed, and there's no shortage of knowledgeable folks around here to help.

from my personal perspective;
Large sound hole: never actually found the size of the sound hole had any change on the position of my right hand.
 My 2004 OM-60 has the enlarged sound hole, as it's been my main stage guitar for several years, I have found that the enlarged sound hole has enhanced the bass a good deal, certainly is a very resonant and has lots of "boom" for an OM.

regarding the pick-up install, not sure why folks put the battery pack on the heel block, but I would certainly remove it, it "should" be easy, as the original instal (I believe) would be a "peel and stick" adhesive.
If the pick up is under the top, and it's an LR Baggs, I'm guessing it's the "Ibeam" model, which, again, should be easy to remove, but certainly wait to see what others think, or get advice from your own tech, or even LR Baggs, their phone support is about the best I've ever encountered.

Regarding the pick guard, if it's original, and not a nuisance in any way, I feel the best thing is to leave it on. They are so nice and thin, and do protect your guitar from any scuffing, but That's just my 2 cents.

Again lots of nice folks around here can add their own 2 cents on your beautiful NGD!!!!
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2014, 11:59:00 AM »


from my personal perspective;
Large sound hole: never actually found the size of the sound hole had any change on the position of my right hand.
 My 2004 OM-60 has the enlarged sound hole, as it's been my main stage guitar for several years, I have found that the enlarged sound hole has enhanced the bass a good deal, certainly is a very resonant and has lots of "boom" for an OM.

I have found my OMV-50 ( Traditional Series) to have enhanced bass but have thought that was attributed to the  Shifted Symmetrical Parabolic X-Bracing not sure what bracing is on the OP's - getting that serial # may give us a bit of an idea

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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2014, 12:05:21 PM »


The shop claims it's a 95'.  I know the J-70 was made in 94, so 95' is feasible.  
Maybe so but why does the shop claim 95'

I'd leave the clear guard on!!!!
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2014, 01:13:58 PM »

I have found my OMV-50 ( Traditional Series) to have enhanced bass but have thought that was attributed to the  Shifted Symmetrical Parabolic X-Bracing not sure what bracing is on the OP's - getting that serial # may give us a bit of an idea


[/quote


OK, LETS open up the "Shifted Symetrical Parabolic X-Bracing discussion Here and now.
or please direct me to
how "Shifted"
How "symmetrical"
 and how "parabolic"

I think I can grasp what X bracing is about..... whistling
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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2014, 05:50:06 PM »

Well I'm not sure how how much of anything or whether they are marketing terms or not, or if they are traditional or not.

But most would agree that an enlarged sound hole should produce more treble

But from my experience with Larrivee Traditional Series I hear enhanced Bass as Headsup  also attested.

Therefor my limited deduction concluded, it was the  bracing causing the effect. I donno for sure its just something I concluded in my own mind right or wrong I attributed the larger holed guitar with more bass to something
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2014, 06:58:14 PM »

My understanding is that an enlarged soundhole reduces boominess/muddiness, but not bass response.
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2014, 11:39:28 PM »

...getting that serial # may give us a bit of an idea
regarding the pick-up install, not sure why folks put the battery pack on the heel block, but I would certainly remove it, it "should" be easy, as the original instal (I believe) would be a "peel and stick" adhesive.
If the pick up is under the top, and it's an LR Baggs, I'm guessing it's the "Ibeam" model, which, again, should be easy to remove, but certainly wait to see what others think, or get advice from your own tech, or even LR Baggs, their phone support is about the best I've ever encountered.
Ok, thanks.  I'll pull that pickup out in the next week or so when I change the strings and will post the serial # here.  I dread the idea of the heel being sticky with velcro glue.  I know I can remove it with wood oil but I don't know that I want to apply that to the raw wood inside.  Maybe a light sanding is in order.  Hmm...

Regarding the pick guard, if it's original, and not a nuisance in any way, I feel the best thing is to leave it on. They are so nice and thin, and do protect your guitar from any scuffing, but That's just my 2 cents.
I'd leave the clear guard on!!!!
Ok, you talked me into keeping it!

My understanding is that an enlarged soundhole reduces boominess/muddiness, but not bass response.
This is what I'm hearing.  The bass has normal frequency extension (which is very deep in this case) but doesn't have as much build up in the upper-bass (around 180 to 350hz) like you normally hear in acoustic guitars.  It's tighter in that area.  It could be the maple but I feel like it has more to do with the shape of the hole.
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Used to own and love; SD-50, J70 maple Mermaid, SD60sbt, D03R, LV03E.
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